The new EU Conflict Minerals regulation was enforced in 2021, intending to get gold, tungsten, tin, and tantalum supplies only from responsible sources for importers.
This year, in October, artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) in Honduras were trained on due diligence, intending to identify and mitigate risks in their mining practices and enhance their abilities to implement such Regulations. This is a way to contribute to responsible gold production and to create formal global supply chains with ASM minerals from this country, which is considered as a Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Area (CAHRA).
These goals are part of the Land of Shining Gold Project in Honduras, funded by the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals – EPRM, and thanks to the collaborative work of Alliance for Responsible Mining, the Centro de Negocios Hondureño Alemán (the German-Honduran Business Center), Minas y Cuevas Mining Organization, Samlerhuset, Heimerle + Meule Group, and the International Institute for the Environment and Development – IIED.
“Risks included in due diligence processes are commonplace of the everyday reality of ASM men and women miners all over the world. However, the concept of due diligence is very little known among small-scale gold producers. We are still challenged to listen to their voices on this issue. Through these workshops, we have taken a first step towards the construction of a dialogue about such risks and how to manage them, and about the expectations on the international market concerning gold produced responsibly,” declared Gabriela Flores, Senior Associate of the IIED, who co-facilitated these meetings. The IIED and other allies will continue these reflections on a multi-actor dialog in the first quarter of 2022.
ASM Risk Mitigation
Due diligence allows producers and buyers to verify that minerals have been responsibly produced. It is a continuous process to verify compliance and respect of Human Rights along the supply chain (OCDE).
All supply chain actors, as part of this process, must assess and mitigate their risks. Men and women miners of Minas y Cuevas Organization, located in the municipality Macuelizo, Santa Bárbara, implemented this exercise and identified some risks within their organization and actions to mitigate them concerning formalization, environment, and health and safety at work, among others.
Organizations in the ASM sector, by following these steps, can work on the improvement of their practices and show their commitment with a responsible, free of conflict, child labor, or forced labor, providing the world with ethical gold.
Minas y Cuevas Achieves their Fourth Gold Export
The Minas y Cuevas Mining Organization made their fourth gold export to Europe in September. This is a milestone, as it allows the organization to get a fair price for its minerals, making it possible to continue on their path towards responsible mining.
“This export is important for us because we represent our country and we get to be known around the world. That way, we can keep on getting support,” says Juan Ramos, current President of the Organization.
Minas y Cuevas keeps improving their extraction and refining processes to continue exporting their gold, becoming a reference of responsible mining in this country.
The German Honduran Business Center has supported Minas y Cuevas in the process to export its ore. Regarding this process, Antonio Portillo, general manager, emphasized:
“The support was complete: from the beginning of the export process to ensure that the company fullfill all the necessary requirements, from invoicing under the standard and approval of the National Tax Authority to due compliance with customs procedures and the presentation and approval of the Export Declaration to the Central Bank of Honduras”.
The Honduran Institute of Geology and Mines, INHGEOMIN, was also present in this process.
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